Photo Credit - Alexandre Tolipan
Victoria Thorson has been seduced by basswood. Its softness of touch, when smooth, evokes the human body. Starting with lumber or recycled wood, Thorson sees the potential shapes and feels her way along the cracks, knots, and grain, following the lines of energy. She carves and refines to create slits of light between volumes and discovers abstract forms to express life’s silences and vibrations.
Dark crevices and occasional strips of colored waxes reverse the weight of masses and upend solidity as the wood is her partner in a dance with nature. Sculpture occupies our space and is the implicit mirror of the god within.
Thorson studied at the National Academy of Design with figurative sculptor Bruno Lucchesi and at the Art Student League. Later, Thorson’s study with Peter Gourfain was marked by an increasing pull toward idiosyncratic figurative abstraction. For her transition to minimalistic but precise forms in wood, Thorson says she owes a debt to the Salt Lake City cabinetmaker Wally Johnson and James Murray, the Hudson Valley sculptor and wood maestro.
Also a Ph.D. art historian, Thorson taught art history at Oakland University in Michigan and at the University of Southern California. She worked at MoMA where she uncovered the fake drawings of Auguste Rodin. Art history jobs ranged from project director, editor, and essay writer for Great Drawings of All Time: The Twentieth Century, 1979 to Contributor to the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, 2011 writing the definition and history of Abstract Art.